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04 Jul '17

How to care for bedsheets

Posted by Jacob Crudo

Wash sheets separately from towels or other clothing. This gives the sheets more room to circulate in the water, which means they'll get cleaner. Washing sheets alone also prevents damage caused by zippers and other fasteners, and it reduces the amount of pilling that can happen over time.

Always pretreat stains before laundering sheets. Avoid using bleach on bed linens as it can damage the fabric. If you need to brighten white sheets, add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to the wash water instead of bleach. Use a mild detergent for cotton and cotton-polyester-blend sheets. Special fabrics such as linen and silk may require a specialized detergent.

If your washing machine features a center agitator, loosely form each sheet into a ball before dropping it into the tub. This strategy will reduce the damage that can be caused by sheets coming into contact with the agitator.

Use a gentle wash cycle and cool or lukewarm water. Remove the sheets as soon as the cycle is over to reduce wrinkles. Shaking the sheets out before placing them in the dryer can also reduce wrinkles.

When possible, dry sheets on an outside clothesline but out of direct sun. If drying in the clothes dryer, use a low heat setting to minimize damage from high temperatures.

Remove the sheets from the dryer as soon as the cycle is over, and fold them, smoothing wrinkles with your hands. If wrinkles have set, dry the sheets for an additional five minutes with a damp towel tossed into the mix to add moisture. Avoid ironing the sheets if possible because that kind of heat can damage the fibers.

04 Jul '17

How to care for bedsheets

Posted by Jacob Crudo

Wash sheets separately from towels or other clothing. This gives the sheets more room to circulate in the water, which means they'll get cleaner. Washing sheets alone also prevents damage caused by zippers and other fasteners, and it reduces the amount of pilling that can happen over time.

Always pretreat stains before laundering sheets. Avoid using bleach on bed linens as it can damage the fabric. If you need to brighten white sheets, add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to the wash water instead of bleach. Use a mild detergent for cotton and cotton-polyester-blend sheets. Special fabrics such as linen and silk may require a specialized detergent.

If your washing machine features a center agitator, loosely form each sheet into a ball before dropping it into the tub. This strategy will reduce the damage that can be caused by sheets coming into contact with the agitator.

Use a gentle wash cycle and cool or lukewarm water. Remove the sheets as soon as the cycle is over to reduce wrinkles. Shaking the sheets out before placing them in the dryer can also reduce wrinkles.

When possible, dry sheets on an outside clothesline but out of direct sun. If drying in the clothes dryer, use a low heat setting to minimize damage from high temperatures.

Remove the sheets from the dryer as soon as the cycle is over, and fold them, smoothing wrinkles with your hands. If wrinkles have set, dry the sheets for an additional five minutes with a damp towel tossed into the mix to add moisture. Avoid ironing the sheets if possible because that kind of heat can damage the fibers.

04 Jul '17

How to Care for Your Mattress:

Posted by Benjamin Crudo
  • Turn your mattress four times a year to distribute the wear evenly. It should be turned side to side and also top to toe.
  • Vacuum mattress and box springs every three months with the upholstery attachment each time you do the turning.
  • Strip your bed whenever you go on vacation to air it out.
  • Don't sit on the edge of a mattress.
  • Don't allow your mattress to get wet.
  • Don't use dry-cleaning fluid of any type to clean your mattress.
04 Jul '17

NATIONAL TRUCK DRIVER APPRECIATION WEEK

Posted by Jacob Crudo in epa study
1 “It is important to thank the professional truck drivers who deliver life’s essentials...Professional truck drivers keep this country moving.” - Cheryl Bynum, National Program Director In this newsletter  What is EPA SmartWay?  What does SmartWay offer fleets and drivers?  Empowering drivers with SmartWay Technology  Efficient Driver Training Truck Drivers showing their SmartWay Designated Tractors. Learn more about SmartWay Tractors and Trailers here. U.S. EPA SmartWay is proud to support NTDAW It is important to thank the professional truck drivers who deliver life’s essentials. According to the American Trucking Associations, professional men and women behind the wheel log close to 280 billion miles each year and last year delivered over 70 percent of the U.S. freight tonnage – or over 10 billion tons of freight. 80 percent of U.S. communities depend solely on the trucking industry. Professional truck drivers keep this country moving. You can read more statistics about truck drivers and the trucking industry here. SmartWay works to provide the best services and technology to truck drivers SmartWay high performance tractors and trailers make driving easier and more efficient. Additionally, SmartWay provides information on idling reduction technologies, aerodynamic devices, low rolling resistance tires, and more. SmartWay designated trucks and verified technologies help drivers squeeze more miles out of every tank, allowing them to spend less time refueling and more time to work and relax. September 11-17, 2016 What is EPA’s SmartWay program? Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay Program is a public-private initiative between EPA, and carriers that move freight and their customers. SmartWay partners include trucking fleets of all sizes. These companies join SmartWay to save money by cutting fuel use and to help clean the air. Its purpose is to improve fuel efficiency and the environmental performance (reduction of both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution) of the goods movement supply chains. Since 2004, SmartWay partners have saved over 7 billion gallons of fuel, lowered fuel costs by $24.9 billion and reduced carbon emissions by 72.8 million metric tons. SmartWay’s clean air achievements help protect the well-being of citizens including truck drivers themselves. What does SmartWay offer fleets and drivers? SmartWay empowers businesses – from national truck carriers to mom-and-pop trucking companies and independent drivers—to move goods in the cleanest, most energy-efficient way possible. The program aims to increase the use of fuel efficient technologies and operational practices in the freight supply chain, while helping drivers save fuel, lower costs and reduce adverse environmental impacts. Fleets, owner-operators and other professional drivers are encouraged to adopt best practices available through driver training for fuel efficient practices and truck spec’ing. Additionally drivers are provided opportunities to share fuel saving information via webinars, case studies, presentations. These services allows fleets of all sizes to market their services to shippers looking to be greener. Driving with SmartWay reflects well on your business. View the full PSA here. EPA Region 4 and Kimberly-Clark during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week in 2014 EPA and KimberlyClark Kimberly-Clark and EPA Region 4 employees worked together to encourage carriers to implement driver behavior techniques. These strategies will save fuel and reduce harmful emissions. SmartWay helps individuals and companies reduce there carbon footprint. View the full PSA here. SmartWay and the U.S. trucking industry ATA has been a supporter and affiliate of SmartWay from the inception of the program in 2004. “We are proud of our efforts to promote sustainability by reducing trucking’s impact on the environment, ATA has been a supporter of SmartWay since Day One and we believe it is a model for the business community and government to follow as they try to solve common problems.”-CEO Bill Graves The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) which represents over 158,000 professional drivers, has been a SmartWay Affiliate since 2008. National Private Truck Council (NPTC), representing America’s private fleets, became a SmartWay Affiliate in 2011. ATA, OOIDA, and NPTC work to bring in carriers to the SmartWay Program. Read about ATA’s EPA SmartWay Affiliate Challenge Special Merit Award here. EPA SmartWay’s Cheryl Bynum shaking hands with ATA’s Environmental Counsel Glen Kedzie after giving ATA the SmartWay Affiliate Challenge Special Merit Award Empower drivers with SmartWay truck technology SmartWay gives truck drivers and fleets information and incentives to upgrade their vehicles to achieve driver fuel efficiency. EPA tests, promotes, and provides the funding for technologies that make trucks more efficient and comfortable. The EPA Clean Diesel Program, awards grants and rebates through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding. These grants and rebates are used to reduce emissions. Projects have included truck retrofits and replacements. To find out more about the Clean Diesel Program and DERA funding and project go to: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel SmartWay verified technologies provide drivers with many benefits. Truck drivers can drive SmartWay Designated Tractors and Trailers that include various fuel-efficient features. Drivers are staying warm, cool, sleeping better, and breathing cleaner air due to onboard idling reduction technologies. Electrified truck parking allows drivers to power their onboard systems (e.g., HVAC and internet), while reducing fuel use when compared to idling. Adding aerodynamic devices (fairings, skirts, etc.) and low rolling resistance tires provide additional fuel saving opportunities. Truck that combine designated SmartWay Tractors and Trailers achieve even greater efficiencies— a winning combination for truck drivers and the environment. Depiction of the various SmartWay Tractor and Trailer technology 4 Driver training programs can help trucking companies save fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing drivers’ skills, knowledge, and performance. A driver training program that improves fuel economy by 5 percent could save over $3,000 in fuel costs and eliminate 8 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per truck each year. What is the Challenge? Even highly experienced truck drivers can boost their skills and enhance driving performance through driver training programs. Training that targets fuel efficiency can help drivers recognize and change driving habits that waste fuel. For example, driving 65 mph instead of 55 mph can use up to 20 percent more fuel, idling a typical heavyduty engine burns about 0.8 gallons of fuel per hour, and driving with the engine rpm too high can waste several gallons of fuel each hour. Other common habits that reduce fuel economy are frequent or improper shifting, too rapid acceleration, too-frequent stops and starts from failing to anticipate traffic flow, and taking circuitous routes. A few simple changes in driving techniques can produce sizable fuel savings of 5 percent or more. A Canadian study estimates that many fleets could achieve a 10 percent fuel economy improvement through driver training and monitoring. A study for the European Commission estimates that an annual one-day driver-training course will improve truck fuel efficiency by 5 percent. What is the Solution? Well-trained drivers can reduce fuel consumption by applying a number of simple techniques.  Use cruise control where appropriate  Coast whenever possible  Brake and accelerate smoothly and gradually  Progressive shifting (upshift at the lowest rpm possible)  Limit unnecessary truck idling  Start out in a gear that doesn’t require using the throttle when releasing the clutch  Limit unnecessary shifting; block-shift (go from, for example, 2nd gear to 5th gear)  Drive at the lowest engine speed possible Continued on next page... ENERGY & FUEL SAVINGS Gallons Saved: 794 gallons CO2 Savings: 8.06 metric tons Fuel Economy Increase: 5% MPG (original 6 mpg): 6.3 mpg Reduction in Fuel Consumption: 5% Fuel Cost Savings: $3,015 A Glance at Clean Freight Strategies: Efficient Driver Training 5 Contact SmartWay Learn more about EPA SmartWay Program: Email: smartway_transport@epa.gov Phone: (734) 214-4767 Web: www.epa.gov/smartway SmartWay Transport Partnership US Environmental Protection Agency 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105 Savings and Benefits Fleets that improve fuel economy by at least 5 percent through driver training and monitoring programs can save more than $3,000 per truck each year in fuel costs and eliminate 8 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per truck each year. Driver training can generate larger efficiency gains for vehicles in urban service, where shifting practices have more influence on fuel economy. For a typical long-haul truck, the initial cost of training and the purchase of related equipment such as an electronic engine monitor and recorder could be recouped within 2 years from fuel cost savings. Trucking companies can realize even greater fuel and maintenance savings by using technologies that limit truck idling and highway speed. Next Steps 1)Trucking firms can consider implementing driver training programs to reduce fuel costs and teach drivers fuel saving techniques through employers, vocational schools, and for-profit training organizations. 2)Electronic engine monitors can be installed to review drivers’ operating patterns and benchmark individual performance over time. Create successful incentive programs that are simple to administer by paying bonuses and setting realistic goals. To provide additional motivation, training can be combined with an incentive program to reward drivers for enhanced performance. 3)Fleets can contact their national or local trucking organizations for more details on improving driver performance and establishing a driver incentive program. Also contact truck dealers or equipment vendors for information on engine monitors and other fuel-saving devices. Click here to sign up for FREE fuel-efficient driver’s training.
08 Apr '14

Sleep an essential element.

Posted by Jacob Crudo

Truckers’ unique obstacles to getting proper sleep can affect their health

By Siphiwe Baleka on March

 

Whenever there is a conversation about truck drivers and sleep, the talk always turns to driver fatigue and sleep apnea. The concern has led to studies of how those conditions relate to accidents in trucking. Some people outside of the industry point to the long hours of driving without a break as a factor. But there is more to it than that.

Long haul commercial drivers often have irregular schedules — sometimes they are driving during the day, sometimes they are driving at night, and it is always changing based on the freight and the money. This irregular schedule throws off the body’s circadian rhythms and natural processes and contributes to sleep deprivation.

Interrupted sleep also creates problems. I drove in Prime Inc.’s refrigerated division. If I wasn’t being asked to walk my bills of lading into a shipper or receiver at 3 a.m., I was getting up to check reefer alarms or QUALCOMM messages, or to use the bathroom. Then there’s the guy who parks next to you, idling his truck, playing his music too loud or causing some other commotion. Worst of all was that “bump” — “Hey, did somebody just hit me?”

Sleep matters

The National Sleep Foundation 2012 Sleep in America poll states that the average hours slept on workdays for truck drivers was 6 hours and 50 minutes. That survey, however, is flawed because it relies on drivers’ self-reporting their sleep habits. Drivers’ perception of the amount of sleep they are getting may not match up to the actual amount of sleep they get.

For example, one study tracked a driver’s sleep patterns for 15 weeks and found his average amount of sleep was 5.24 hours with a sleep efficiency, measuring the quality of rest, of 73 percent. That driver had 21 days with less than four hours of sleep and just six days with more than eight hours of sleep.

In another study’s survey, drivers reported having fallen asleep while driving — 3.9 percent within the past month, 7.1 percent within the past six months and 11 percent within the past 12 months.

What those studies don’t tell you is that some important hormone production happens during sleep. Serum leptin and serum ghrelin are two of the main substances which help you regulate hunger and they are part of what is called “metabolic endocrinology.” When you are deprived of sleep, or your sleep is interrupted, the production of these hormones does not occur at the proper rate. After weeks, months and years of sleep deprivation and driver fatigue, you simply can’t regulate hunger properly. One of two things happens as a result: You don’t get the signal that you are full, so you overeat. Or you don’t get the signal that you are hungry, so you don’t bother to eat.

Food and energy

In working with more than 200 drivers at Prime in the past year, I found that the vast majority of drivers don’t eat enough. They have one or two meals a day. Most of them are running a calorie deficit, meaning they burn more calories than they consume. So why are these drivers overweight or obese?

Skipping meals deprives the body of nutrition it needs to function. An undernourished body tries to hold on to every ounce of fat (stored energy) by slowing down metabolism. This is the fatigue that drivers feel — your body doesn’t want you to move and use this precious stored energy.

Drivers who don’t get the signal to stop eating end up snacking throughout the day to fight boredom. When they sit down for lunch or dinner, they habitually overeat. These drivers have a calorie surplus, and the extra calories get stored as more and more fat. Contrary to popular truck driver stereotypes, these overweight and obese drivers are not lazy. It’s not a lack of willpower or personality flaw that is the reason for their condition, it’s hormonal. This is the main reason that 86 percent of truck drivers are overweight and 57 percent are obese. It has everything to do with sleep!